All Divorce Mediators either have, or should have a specific set of rules. These rules should be used to make sure that the divorce mediation process stays on a productive track. At Alternative Divorce Solutions, we give our set of rules to our clients at the initial consultation appointment. We explain these rules in detail to ensure that the clients know what we expect of our team, as well as what will be expected of them for a successful divorce mediation.
In addition to these rules, there is another underlying set of rules that clients should know if they want their divorce mediation to be successful:
1. Play fair
When you come to your initial consultation, you will most likely be asked what your goals for the process are. In your mind, what would a fair outcome look like? Is there something specific you would like to achieve through the divorce mediation process? Make sure you are honest during this appointment. Your divorce mediator is going through this appointment with you to get a realistic sense of what you are feeling and what is important to you. We have seen some clients come to the initial consultation stating that they want to cooperate with their spouse in reaching an agreement, and later changing their attitude completely. This not only catches your divorce mediator by surprise, it catches your spouse by surprise as well and makes him or her less likely to cooperate.
2. Leave your emotions outside (within reason)
At Alternative Divorce Solutions, we are well aware that emotions play a huge part in the divorce mediation process. We can appreciate that you are hurt, angry, sad, and even depressed. However, if you let these emotions take over, they will taint your perspective on what is important. In divorce, there are absolutely no winners. Everyone must make sacrifices, including the children who will now have to shuttle between two houses and try to find a new sense of peace in a totally different world. When you are weighing your options, try to picture yourself a year down the road or even further. When you have released and overcome the pain and anger, what will really be important to you? Financial security, relationships with your children and other family members? Do your best to see the big picture.
3. Be HONEST
When you have chosen to settle your divorce out of court, you have made a commitment to communicate your needs to the other person as well as your divorce mediator. It doesn’t help anyone involved if you don’t honestly and clearly state what you need out of the process. For example, if you really want to stay in the former family residence, but are worried you cannot afford it, voice this concern. Your mediator will help you go through your options objectively and can reach out to outside experts to assist you if needed. Without knowing what your needs are, you could leave unexplored options on the table.
Divorce mediation is certainly a less time consuming, less emotionally draining, and less damaging process than court. However, for it to work you must cooperate with the process fully.